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Apple 1984 ad, updated for 2009

DVD Jon sez, "Apple's been making an increasing number of anti-consumer moves over the last few years, so we thought it was time to remake their 1984 ad to reflect reality."

Big Brother ad by doubleTwist

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Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and John Lennon! The LS Bumble Bee video Link

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Robots Are Taking Over the World (but ukeleles will save us).

Boing Boing reader Patrick Misterovich writes,

My 12 year old son is the singer in a ukulele based indie band called The Scribbles. This video is of a live performance of their song "The Robot Song."

Web Zen: music viddy zen 2009

phenomenal handclap band
sniper twins
ballad of g.i. joe
screaming flailing machine
my territory
domo darko
bear force one
bellyful tv
the take-away shows

previously on web zen:
video killed the radio zen
music viddy zen 2007
music viddy zen 2004
music viddy zen 2003

Permalink for this edition. Web Zen is created and curated by Frank Davis, and re-posted here on Boing Boing with his kind permission. Web Zen Home and Archives, Store, Twitter.

GRISTLEISM: Throbbing Gristle's unusual new "box set"


Richard Metzger writes:

When Boing Boing’s Xeni Jardin and I interviewed Throbbing Gristle in Los Angeles, during the sound-check we were talking to Charlie Poulet, TG’s brilliant sound engineer. There was an insanely trippy song coming over the PA system and I asked him what it was. “Oh, THAT. That is a Buddha Machine—ever hear of one?”

A Buddha Machine is a little plastic box that resembles a cheap transistor radio. It has a built-in speaker and runs continuous tape loops of chanting or soothing, natural, trippy, etc, sounds. They are hipster remakes of the Tibetan prayer loop boxes (they’re ubiquitous all over China) and are manufactured by a company called FM3.

Charlie was running several of them at once to create the amazing sound-scape going on in the background as we spoke. A little while later, Chris Carter hinted that soon TG would be announcing a “special musical project” that involved no CD or MP3s whatsoever. I suspected at the time he was hazily describing something similar to a Buddha Machine. TG-stylee and I was right. Check it out!

Metzger has details here on Dangerous Minds. You can order your very own GRISTLEISM here.

My recent money-related posts at

Here are some of my recent posts about money for

Creditsnap Credit Report Card: A Truly Free Look at Your Credit Record (left): " launched a new, truly free online tool called Credit Report Card, which gives you an easy-to-understand snapshot of your credit report, along with estimated scores from the different reporting agencies."

Should I Buy It? A Flowchart to Help You Decide: "The purpose of my 'should I buy it?' question and the purpose of April's flowchart is the same: to force you to stop and think before buying something. Sometimes, a small delay between impulse and action is all it takes to avoid making an unnecessarily costly purchase."

Immunize Yourself Against Sneaky Sales Tactics: "Using insight gleaned from Dan Ariely's book Predictably Irrational, Jeff Atwood goes through marketers' sleazy tactics, one-by-one, telling you how to avoid falling prey to them."

Can You Save Money with a Self-Watering Gardening Container?: "I bought three 'Ready to Grow Complete Kits' from EarthBox for $55 each and set them up on my deck. Besides all the components (including casters so you can roll the boxes around), they come with potting mix, a bag of organic fertilizer, and a bag of dolomite with trace elements. As the website says, all you need are plants and water."

Using Brain Scans to Beat the Free Rider Problem: "The house I live on is on a private street shard by about 20 other houses. The City of Los Angeles does not maintain the street, so when repairs are needed, the residents must pay for them. Over the last couple of years, a lot of big potholes have formed. Several of the residents decided something needed to be done about it, and sent copies of repair estimates to everyone who lives on the street. If everyone pitched in an equal amount, the price per household would be $2,500 to fix the street. Most of the households paid the $2,500, but a few refused to pay."

The High Price of Ignoring the Future: "Would you rather be given £45 in three days, or £70 in three months? That was the question put to 40,000 people who took part in an experiment conducted by the BBC and the University College of London."

Dan Pink on the Surprising Science of Motivation: "Dan has been studying the psychology of human motivation. In this video, Dan offers some counter-intuitive advice about using financial rewards to incentivize people."

Would You Steal Medicine to Save Your Spouse's Life?: "Heinz broke into the drugstore and stole the drug for his wife. Should Heinz have done that?"

Money Can Buy Happiness, After All, as Long as You Don't Spend it on Yourself : "It turns out that money can buy happiness -- provided you spend it on the right things."

The Curse of Winning the Lottery: "This article reports on the sad fates of eight lottery winners who experienced bankruptcy, drug abuse, and sometimes even prison as a result of winning the lottery."

Tweet (#4480486186)

the name says it all ---> Link

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One small step for a clown, one giant leap for clownkind.


Space history will be made this week: the first clown launched into orbit. Canadian billionaire Guy Laliberté, the circus entrepreneur behind Cirque du Soleil, was once a street performer. Now he's a space performer. Apparently, he's planning to put on a show during the trip. BBC News, MSNBC, I hope they don't cross paths with the Killer Klowns from Outer Space. (Image: Space Adventures/ONE DROP Foundation)

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Walrus TV interviews Mike Giant Link

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Topps Nutty Initials original art on eBay


The original art for some of Norman Saunders' fantastic Nutty Initials stickers are being auctioned on eBay right now. They were produced by Topps in 1967.

NORMAN SAUNDERS (1907 - 1989) was a prolific commercial artist who produced paintings for pulp magazines, paperbacks, men's adventure magazines, comic books, and trading cards. On occasion, he signed his work with his middle name, "Blaine." These distinctive characters were probably inspired by the work of Basil Wolverton. Painted fairly small, the piece as a whole measures 3.5" x 4.75, and there is some minor paint chipping in the black areas surrounding the monster, and glue residue on the reverse. Very good condition otherwise.
Nutty Initials stickers (Via Anonymous Works)

@BBVBOX: recent guest-tweeted web video picks (

(Ed. Note: The Boing Boing Video site includes a guest-curated microblog: the "BBVBOX." Here, folks whose taste in web video we admire tweet the latest clips they find. We'll post roundups here on the motherBoing.)

  • Jesse Thorn: I'm so disappointed that they left this crazy Russian sailor version of "Let It Be" off that Beatles box set. Link
  • Richard Metzger: It's good to see that Papa John Phillips didn't fuck up all his kids! Link
  • Jesse Thorn: Apparently Tracy Morgan was "the invisible fourth Tony! Toni! Tone!, also called Tony." Link
  • Richard Metzger: Margaret Thatcher Calls the House of Lords, genius funny Link
  • Jesse Thorn: Finally, someone is standing up for the real heroes in the health care reform debate: insurance companies. Link
  • Richard Metzger: Meet Kent French, champion hand clapper! Link
  • Sean Bonner: 28 Days Later reenacted in one minute Link (via @rudy)
  • Jesse Thorn: The Godfather of Soul ripping it up on Letterman in 1982. Link
  • Richard Metzger: Alan Arkin apeshit on Muppet Show Link
  • Sean Bonner: To Live and Ride in LA (on bikes!) Link
  • Richard Metzger: Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day out today in Canada (this and they get free healthcare, too?) Link
  • Richard Metzger: Star Maidens (1975) The security guards wear go-go boots and mini-skirts Link
  • Richard Metzger: Sarah Palin's Running Mate in 2012? The Skoal Rebel think Obama should be impeached! Link (warning: includes generous use of the n-word.)


Zeitoun Book Giveaway Haiku Contest

Zeitoun Haiku ContestRead the rest

Scientific study on subliminals

In 1957, James Vicary famously flashed subliminal advertising messages on a movie screen and claimed it boosted sales of refreshments. Vicary later admitted that he had lied about the results. Since then, the effectiveness of subliminals has been the subject of some debate. A new study from University College London suggests that negative subliminal messages can work, at least in a laboratory setting. The researchers flashed a series of positive (cheerful, etc.), negative (agony, etc.), or neutral (box, etc.) words on a screen but not long enough for them to be consciously read. When the subjects were asked if the words they couldn't consciously have read were positive, negative, or neutral, they accurately categorized 66% of the negative word. From the BBC News:
The researchers found that the participants answered most accurately when responding to negative words, even when they believed they were merely guessing the answer. They were able to accurately categorise 66% of the negative words compared to 50% of the positive ones.

Subliminal advertising is not permitted on television in the UK.

But Professor (Nillie) Lavie said her work could be applicable to marketing campaigns: "Negative words may have more of a rapid impact - "Kill Your Speed" should work better than "Slow Down".

Kill your boredom by reading Boing Boing!!!

"More controversially, a competitor's negative qualities may work on a subconscious level much more effectively than shouting about your own selling points."
"Negative subliminal messages work"

Visionaire magazine: paper-engineered issue

Visionoairrr-1 Gurskyyyyy-1
Issue #55 of ultradesigned fashion/art/culture magazine is a gorgeous slipcased collection of pop-up designed by the likes of Andreas Gursky, Steven Meisel, Sophie Calle, and engineered by Bruce Foster. As Mark F said, watching the lovely promotional video on the Visionaire site is probably nearly as satisfying as actually owning a copy of the issue, which sells for $250. Visionaire: Surprise (Thanks, Gareth Branwyn!)

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind -- fantastic new book about a how a Malawian teenager harnessed the power of the wind

I reviewed The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind for Good. I think it's one of the best books I've ever read. Here's an excerpt of my review:

William Kamkwamba's parents couldn't afford the $80 yearly tuition for their son's school. The boy sneaked into the classroom anyway, dodging administrators for a few weeks until they caught him. Still emaciated from the recent deadly famine that had killed friends and neighbors, he went back to work on his family’s corn and tobacco farm in rural Malawi, Africa.

With no hope of getting the funds to go back to school, William continued his education by teaching himself, borrowing books from the small library at the elementary school in his village. One day, when William was 14, he went to the library searching for an English-Chichewa dictionary to find out what the English word "grapes" meant, and came across a fifth-grade science book called Using Energy. Describing this moment in his autobiography, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (co-written with Bryan Mealer), William wrote, "The book has since changed my life."

Using Energy described how windmills could be used to generate electricity. Only two percent of Malawians have electricity, and the service is notoriously unreliable. William decided an electric windmill was something he wanted to make. Illuminating his house and the other houses in his village would mean that people could read at night after work. A windmill to pump water would mean that they could grow two crops a year rather than one, grow vegetable gardens, and not have to spend two hours a day hauling water. "A windmill meant more than just power," he wrote, "it was freedom."

For an educated adult living in a developed nation, designing and building a wind turbine that generates electricity is something to be proud of. For a half-starved, uneducated boy living in a country plagued with drought, famine, poverty, disease, a cruelly corrupt government, crippling superstitions, and low expectations, it's another thing altogether. It's nothing short of monumental.

Read the rest of my review at GOOD.

(It was very exciting to read that William's favorite magazine is Make!)

Mystery School

Manlyhallalala Mysteryyyyy

Boing Boing guestblogger Mitch Horowitz is author of Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation and editor-in-chief of Tarcher/Penguin publishers.

One of the weirdest and most wonderful sites on the map of spiritual Los Angeles is the Philosophical Research Society (PRS). Occult scholar Manly P. Hall (1901-1990) opened this Mayan-Egyptian-art-deco campus in the Griffith Park neighborhood in 1934. Hall was the author of the legendary encyclopedia of occult lore, The Secret Teachings of All Ages (quoted in the epigraph to Dan Brown's latest novel), and he designed the Philosophical Research Society, or PRS, as his sanctum and school. I'm speaking at PRS this coming Saturday, October 3rd and Sunday, October 4th, at 2 p.m. daily on the history of the occult in America. I'll be considering everything from the career of Manly P. Hall to the growth of "mind power" mysticism. From Occult America:
Hall fancifully spoke of modeling his headquarters after the ancient mystery school of Pythagoras. More practically, PRS provided a cloistered setting where Hall spent the rest of his life teaching, writing, and assembling a remarkable collection of antique texts and devotional objects. His small campus eventually grew to include a 50,000-volume library with catwalks and floor-to-ceiling shelves; a 300-seat auditorium with a throne-like chair for the master teacher; a bookstore; a warehouse for the many titles he wrote and sold; a wood-paneled office (complete with a walk-in vault for antiquities); and a sunny stucco courtyard. Designed in an unusual pastiche of Mayan, Egyptian, and art-deco motifs, PRS became one of the most popular destinations for L.A.'s spiritually curious, and remains so.
Philosophical Research Society

G20 police uses arrested student as trophy in group photo

On his blog, Jonathan Turley writes that this video "appears to show Pittsburgh police during G20 protests using an arrested citizen as a prop for a group photo." That's what it looks like to me, too. (Via The Agitator)